OMAHA, Neb. -- Omaha-are volleyball fans will get a special treat this Friday (April 22) when the Creighton volleyball team hosts Tianjin Bridgestone in a 5:30 pm exhibition at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center.
The China-based team coming to Omaha - Tianjin Bridgestone - recently won its eighth league championship by beating (former US Olympic team head coach) Jenny Lang Ping's Guangdong Evergrande team, 2-1, in the best-of-three series. Tianjin is located in northeast China. The city has nearly 10 million people, making it the sixth-largest in China.
Tianjin began its trip with a match on Tuesday at Illinois, where the Illini stunned the jet-lagged Chinese team in five sets. During its U.S. trip, Tianjin also will play Kansas State (tonight), Nebraska (April 23 at the NU Coliseum), Colorado State (April 26), Norco Club, Laguna Beach Club and UC Irvine (April 29).
Though five Tianjin players were recently called up to practice with the Chinese national team, two former national team players, Li Shan (2004 Gold Medalist) and Li Juan (2008 Bronze Medalist) are on the trip. Tianjin's coach, Wang Baoquan, is China's former national team coach as well.
"Tianjin Bridgestone is one of the top professional teams in the world, and we're fortunate to be hosting them," said Booth. "It'll be a huge challenge for our young team, but we're looking forward to learning more about not just on-court volleyball skills, but also the Chinese culture, in preparation for this match."
Friday's contest will be Creighton's final exhibition match of the spring. The Bluejay squad will consist of its returners for next year's team, as well as recent Bluejay alums Allie Oelke and Jessica Houts.
General admission tickets will be sold at the door the day of the event (doors will open at 4:30 p.m.) and cost is $5 per person (cash or checks made payable to Creighton Athletics will be the methods of payment accepted).
Creighton finished the 2010 season with a 21-12 record, qualified for its first NCAA Tournament and also picked up its first NCAA Tournament victory.